Feeling that it's time for a change in her life, Dr Kate Forster (sandra bullock) leaves the suburban Illinois locale where she completed her residency and

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НазваниеFeeling that it's time for a change in her life, Dr Kate Forster (sandra bullock) leaves the suburban Illinois locale where she completed her residency and
Дата конвертации29.10.2012
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The Lake House

One of the things Kate and Alex share is their love for the lake house. When Kate relocates to Chicago, she remembers the lake house as the place where she felt most like her true self. For Alex, the house has an even deeper meaning. It was built by his father in a happier time, before he became well-known and when they all lived together by the lake as a family. By restoring the long-neglected property to its original beauty, Alex seeks to reclaim a measure of the peace he once felt there. Says Reeves, "He's trying to make this house a home again."

No ordinary house, it's an uncommonly beautiful refuge of light and glass suspended over the water, protected yet completely and organically in touch with the lake and the surrounding land.

"It's such an unusual design, undeniably beautiful but not the kind of design everyone would fall in love with. Only a certain kind of person could live in this house. It's for very specific tastes," says Bullock, believing this in itself is indicative of how much these two people are alike. "For both Kate and Alex to feel so comfortable within these glass walls shows how much they have in common and is symbolic, really, of the greater understanding they offer each other."

An admitted "architecture nut," she finds the effect reminiscent of, "Paris Metro stations from the turn-of-the-century, clean and minimalist with lots of glass and steel. It's a design that sound cold but is actually quite warm when you see it," she says, citing how sunlight is captured and reflected in the building's many planes. "Like the Taj Mahal, it was a home built by a man who adored his wife and family and expressed his love through that structure."

After weeks of scanning lakefront locations in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and Indiana and virtually every mile of the vast Lake Michigan shoreline for something that embodied all the necessary elements, The Lake House production team rose to the challenge and built the iconic house themselves. Location manager James McAllister (Road to Perdition, Batman Begins) returned to Cook County, Illinois, where he had worked a decade previously on Evil Has a Face at a Forest Preserve location along the tranquil, 55-acre man-made Maple Lake. It proved to be the perfect setting: naturally serene and romantic, with the surrounding texture and terrain Agresti had in mind.

"The house was our most important set, the one key piece around which the story revolves, so it made sense for us to create exactly what we wanted," says production designer Nathan Crowley, a 2005 BAFTA and Art Directors Guild Award nominee for Batman Begins and the third generation of men in his family to hold a degree in architecture.

"We wanted a mixture of modern and classical, something that Alex's father might have designed. In some ways its roots lie in the kind of 1960s glass box style, but we also drew from the Regency Period, a style popular in England in the early to mid-1800s, to add romance and elegance to the overall look, and even integrated some elements of greenhouses."

Considering how Kate and Alex, at this stage in their lives, spend so much time in solitude and introspection, Bullock finds it particularly interesting that the predominantly glass structure offers them "no place to hide. These are two people who are, in many ways, hiding from the world, and yet the house they both love is absolutely exposed," as if the mere fact of their being there brings out their genuine nature. "It also puts them immediately in touch with the lake, the trees, the soil, everything around them. It's almost like living outside."

From a practical standpoint, the building's transparency meant, "We didn't have the opportunity to shoot an exterior separate from the interior, as you would traditionally do," explains Crowley. "We had to shoot them together, which meant engineering and building it like a real house rather than a set."

Collaborating with veteran Chicago construction coordinator Troy Osman, Crowley's team had a mere seven weeks to create the house, which measured more than 2000 square feet and sat atop steel beams ten feet above the waterline. The massive project used 35 tons of steel and employed a near-100 member crew of carpenters, welders and painters. "It wasn't very big but the

were a real challenge, especially in the limited time we had to do it," Crowley says. "We even had a heating system installed to keep our actors warm."

Because the area's geology would have necessitated pile-driving supports 30 feet deep into the lake bed, Crowley opted instead to "put them on concrete pads, but that meant going underwater." Ultimately, a dam was built to hold the water back while workers excavated 20 feet down to plant steel foundations. "We ended up building it next to the lake," he confesses. "With the great help of the Forest Preserve, we then brought the lake to the house. We essentially created a new inlet. Once the site was excavated and concrete bases set, we removed the dam and flooded the underside of the house."

Bullock's only regret was that the house was not fully functional and available for her to "I loved it," she admits. "I was so disappointed that I couldn't keep it, move it, and at

In fact, the production team worked within strict guidelines from the EPA and numerous agencies including The Audubon Society and the Friends of the Forest Preserve, not to mention Cook County building and zoning regulations in the construction of their lake house - and in its ultimate dismantling. When filming wrapped, nothing was left behind.
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